I have been asked to write a brief commentary on the organization of the North Texas Region, and on the picture taken in front of the Hilton Hotel which was first published on the cover of the December 1973 Issue of Classic Reflections.
The Classic Car Club itself was organized in 1953; its Oil Belt Region was created in 1960. The Oil Belt Region was at that time geographically centered in Oklahoma, including parts of Kansas, Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana, including the present North Texas Region. The Oil Belt Region served us very well, but was too large geographically for the area-wide attendance at one-day activities.
The idea of a North Texas Region was conceived in 1972. Fred Tycher and Hubert Cook were, as I recall, the two people who conceived and promoted the idea of a Region centered around Dallas-Fort Worth, which could have Saturday or Sunday afternoon activities which could be driven to comfortably. An afternoon activity in Tulsa or Kansas City was not likely to draw many North Texas area cars or people. Weekend-long activities at that distance had drawn good attendance, but many enthusiasts claimed they were getting older (or was it lazier?) and the idea of an all-day drive to get to the starting point of a tour was becoming less attractive. Gasoline shortages were also a factor.
Fred, Hubert, and several other members who worked just as hard, put together an initial meeting on August 13, 1972, at Flag Pole Hill at White Rock Lake. The organization was named the North Texas Classic Car Association, with the intention of applying immediately, upon establishing a sound organization, for status as a provisional region of CCCA. This was a ticklish situation, as we did not wish to offend our many friends in the Oil Belt Region, some of whom felt that the Oil Belt Region would be weakened. The North Texas group was admitted as a CCCA provisional region as hoped. The picture in front of the Hilton Inn was taken just after admission as a full Region, before the very first Board meeting as a full CCCA region. A day to celebrate!
The founding Board members in the photo are, left to right, Woody Norvell, Steve Chapman, Marvin Johnson, Rayford Reese, Hubert Cook, Fred Tycher, Jane Davie, and Bill Hutcheson. Other founding members included but not present were Jack Hildreth, Charlie Gambulos, Jim Hollingsworth, Jim Lake, Gene Lankop, John Mitchell, Bill Mott Jr., Haden Vandiver and Herman Van Os. Seven of these later served as regional Directors. A group willing to work, obviously. The first Director was Hubert Cook; then, Fred Tycher.
The North Texas Region was off to a great start. It was a success from day one, due partly to the large number of established classic car enthusiasts and CCCA members who were ready-made members, but mainly due to the hard work of a number of “early” members. The North Texas Region has given us much enjoyment. It will continue to do so, so long as we continue to work to make it do so. It is wonderful to have so many “early” members still so active in the club, but our ability to attract new members will be the life of a continuing organization. To all of those who worked to organize the North Texas Region, and to those who are now making it work, a sincere “Thank You.”
by Steve Chapman